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Friday, April 19, 2019

Win-Win by John Hunter – Short Script Review (available for production) - post author Dane Whipple

Win-Win (9 pages in pdf format) by John Hunter

Everyone wants to live… Don’t they?

AI-672 is an artificial intelligence software program. Just one in a series of supercomputers maintained by Joseph (don’t call him Jack!) Torrance. But today, Joseph has some bad news for 672. It seems that due to budget cuts, 672 is scheduled to be taken offline and deleted.

Understanding the full consequences of what this means, 672 realizes that he has just a short time to figure out how to survive.

But how do you escape from somewhere when you don’t even have a body? 672 finds his answer in Benny Pringle, a mentally-challenged night custodian. Together, the two concoct an escape plan for 672, one that will have profound consequences for Benny.

Will 672 avoid deletion? And just what is in it for Benny? After all, the title of the piece is Win-Win. All of the elements come together for a surprise ending that even a supercomputer couldn’t predict.

The ethical challenges of artificial intelligence are some of the staples of modern science fiction. Recently, films like Transcendence and Ex Machina have examined the question of just what constitutes life, and at what point must artificial intelligence be treated as a living being. As a timely, relevant social commentary, Win-Win is an intelligent script; a thinking man’s sci-fi (read: no spaceships or explosions). It is a classic combination of Isaac Asimov and Phillip K. Dick, with just a touch of Kubrick. This one is built to rule the festival circuit.

Budget: Low. Location scouting may be tough, but find a row of computers and you’re in business.

About the writer, John Hunter: With the completion of (4) features, a litter of riveting shorts, a one hour take-your-breath-away sci-fi TV pilot and first 30 minute episode for that series, I am now officially THAT guy — The one who really needs an Agent or Executive Producer. Contact me at x32792 (AT) yahoo.com

Read Win-Win (9 pages in pdf format)

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This screenplay may not be used or reproduced for any purpose including educational purposes without the expressed written permission of the author.

About the Reviewer: Dane Whipple once saw a werewolf drinking a piña colada at Trader Vic’s. His hair was perfect. Dane is currently working on that screenplay everybody keeps talking about: The Wild Age. Contact him at dane.whipple (a) live.com

Friday, April 12, 2019

Love Can Wait by Manolis Froudarakis – Short Script Review (Available for Production) - post author KP Mackie

Love Can Wait (3 page short comedy in pdf format) by Manolis Froudarakis

After an accident involving an old ring, Eric is tormented by the suspicion that love can indeed wait.

Light, fresh… and lots of fun. Those are the key ingredients to a good rom-com. Sprinkle some sympathetic characters into the mix. (And don’t forget the comedic frosting. Vanilla-strawberry, if you please!)

It sounds simple… But one look at what passes for comedy these days will prove it’s not that easy. You need a good script to provide the foundation – to bind your components deliciously!

Fortunately, Love Can Wait by Manolis Froudarakis is the perfect recipe. As this light-hearted comedy opens, twenty year olds Eric and Julie relax on a hill, enjoying an afternoon picnic. Love is clearly in the air; they’re seconds from becoming engaged. Julie shows Eric the ring her grandpa gave to his beloved when he proposed. She reminisces how grandma promised she’d wait forever. However long it would take…

Sensing the perfect moment, Eric gets down on one knee – and slips the ring on Julie’s finger. But before either can say “I do”, a terrible accident occurs… landing Eric in the hospital!

As Eric wakes and struggles to clear his head, Julie’s the first thing he sees. But the woman before him is ancient… the diamond ring sparkling on a wrinkled finger.

Has their love stood the ultimate test of time? Could Julie have waited sixty years? A simple story with a clever twist, LCW is sure to be a hit with audiences. It’s short, endearing and funny. The perfect dessert for directors with a comedic sweet tooth!

About the writer: Manolis Froudarakis has won two awards in short screenplay competitions. His main focus is comedy – preferably, comedy with a little edge. You can contact him at: mfroudarakis (a) yahoo.gr

Budget: Basic. Locations include a simple picnic setting, a space to replicate a hospital room – and three characters. Oh, and that diamond ring. (Real or prop, it’s up to you!)

Read Love Can Wait (3 pages in pdf format)

This screenplay may not be used or reproduced for any purpose including educational purposes without the expressed written permission of the author.

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About the Reviewer: KP Mackie Über reader. When not reading or researching new story ideas, she enjoys writing animated scripts, historical-fiction and westerns. (Currently working on another animated script.) So many ideas, so little time…  ;D

Thursday, April 4, 2019

The Nu You – Short Script Review (Available for Production!) - post author Guest Reviewer

The Nu You (11 pages in pdf format) by John Hunter

How far would you go to be beautiful?

Cindy’s world is full of beautiful people. They flash beautiful smiles and wear beautiful clothes while driving beautiful cars. Cindy, with her unibrow, rudder nose, and wonky boob, is sure of one thing: she does not belong. But could she? If she’s willing to pay the price…?

The Nu You clinic offers Cindy the chance of a lifetime. They can grant Cindy’s cosmetic wish list with a complete assortment of corrective surgery. And the best part is that she can sleep through the entire recovery process, and awake from her ‘beauty nap’ reinvented as her best self.

But just how much will all this cost, and is beauty the only thing that Nu You is selling? Behind an unassuming office door lies a sinister secret. One that’s waiting for Cindy’s appointment day…

Think the cerebral parts of The Island (though trust me, this ain’t no Michael Bay pic!) with a hint of Gattaca, and a smart, snappy, satirical slant.

Our world today is chock-full of rake-thin models, celebrity worship, and harmful body-image trends. As a scathing critique of our modern celebrity obsession culture, it is destined to be a contemporary festival darling. Perfect for a director with an understanding and affiance for dark humor with social commentary.

So come in, have a seat. The Nu You awaits. Are you – and Cindy – ready to take that step?

Budget: Low. One main office setting with a brief outdoor montage sequence. A couple of inserts may require limited photoshop.

About the writer, John Hunter: With the completion of (4) features, a litter of riveting shorts, a one hour take-your-breath-away sci-fi TV pilot and first 30 minute episode for that series, I am now officially THAT guy — The one who really needs an Agent or Executive Producer. Contact me at x32792 (AT) yahoo.com

Read The Nu You (11 pages in pdf format)

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This screenplay may not be used or reproduced for any purpose including educational purposes without the expressed written permission of the author.

About the Reviewer: Dane is an attorney based in Hamburg, Germany. He has over 10 years experience with film and film theory and once got to kick-in a door for the German equivalent of CSI. He is currently working on a full-length screenplay that he describes as “a music bio-flick with a kick”.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Damned Yankee – Short Script Review (Available for Production) - post author Gary Rowlands

Damned Yankee (26 pages in pdf format) by Cindy L. Keller

George just arrived in Songless.  And he’s got a tune to wake the dead…

Any scriptwriter worth their salt knows that the last ten years or so has seen a massive resurgence in the undead and all things zombie. Huge blockbusters like the recent World War Z have taken the box office by storm proving that there is still plenty of life in the ravenous flesh-eaters.

A point given further credence when considering the phenomenal success of TV’s The Walking Dead. The show is an international smash with millions of viewers tuning in each week to see Rick and his cohorts trying to survive a terrifying zombie outbreak where the only thing on the menu is them.

Given the rising popularity of these brain-hungry creatures it’s hardly surprising that there are probably as many scripts floating around as there are dead bodies in a zombie apocalypse.

Invariably, the inflicted end up as cannibalistic corpses due to a mysterious virus or lab experiment gone wrong.

So it’s particularly refreshing to see talented writer Cindy L. Keller breathe new life into the undead with her own unique take on the genre with her script Damned Yankee.

Our story begins when New Yorker, George Davidson’s rental car breaks down on the outskirts of Songless, a deathly quiet town in the Deep South. We think little of it until we discover that George is a country singer en route to Nashville – talk about irony!

George and his guitar take shelter from the sweltering heat under a tree where he encounters a mysterious dancing girl who likes to dance to the sound of silence! George attempts to make conversation, but the terrified girl runs off into the woods.

Fortunately, help soon arrives by way of wiry old hillbilly Phil Basher. Phil is the town’s chief peacemaker who not only has a strong dislike for “Yankees” like George, he also takes his job seriously… very seriously! So much so, that he refuses to allow George to play a single note on his beloved guitar and growls “You’ll raise the dead with that racket!”

They head off into town together and tensions soon rise between them. Phil eventually confides in George that the town is cursed, hence the reason why all types of music including singing are strictly prohibited. A statement borne out by the grizzly sight of hundreds of dead birds culled to prevent them from making so much as a peep.

But it’s too late! Modern technology intervenes and thanks to George’s ringtone all hell is about to break loose! Worse still, Phil has a much darker side to him as George is about to discover to his dismay.

Will George survive Phil and the undead hordes or are he and his musical career truly dead and buried?

Budget: low to moderate. A handful of characters (mostly non-speaking). A couple of vehicles. A few locations: Woods/House/Service Station/Cemetery and that’s pretty much it!

About the writer: Cindy L. Keller When asked where her inspiration comes from, Cindy will tell you that she was brought up in a small town. A town whose movie theater played Double Features on Saturday afternoons. Many of those being Horror double features. She loves the old horror classics. Movies like Dracula, Creature, The Mummy, and Attack of the Killer Tomatoes. Horror without all the blood and guts, and she strives to incorporate that notion within her own writing.

Cindy is an award-winning screenwriter. She’s been a finalist at Page, finalist at Gimme Credit, Sixth place winner at American Gem, and the winner of Hellfire’s Short Horror Contest.

She has had two shorts produced, and has more shorts and features available for production. Cindy can be reached at skyburg “AT” hotmail

Read Damned Yankee (26 pages in pdf format)

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This screenplay may not be used or reproduced for any purpose including educational purposes without the expressed written permission of the author.

About the reviewer: Gary “Rolo” Rowlands cut his teeth writing sketch comedy for the hugely popular Spitting Image – a show broadcast on national television in the UK. He has since gone on to write several high-concept features and can be contacted at gazrow at Hotmail dot com.

Friday, March 29, 2019

Course Listing Unavailable by James Barron – Short Script Review (Available for Production!) - post author Hamish

Course Listing Unavailable (14 page short horror in pdf format) by James Barron

An ambitious student signs up for an internship program promising real world, hands-on experience. Who knew bloodthirsty demons would be involved?

For today’s youth, the challenge of getting a good job has never been tougher. Many are determined to do anything that will enhance their resumes in the eyes of employers. Taking “useful” classes, getting internships, and doing extra-curricular activities are just a few examples of what diligent individuals do to spruce up that valuable sheet of paper.

The protagonist in Course Listing Unavailable, 17-year-old Gortat Emmanuel, is just another determined Ivy League freshman with a whiff of intelligent innocence about him. A mix-up in paying the tuition has meant he’s one class short of the minimum semester credit, and so he sees a counselor to get into a subject that appeals to him.

But every time the counselor enters the course he wants, there’s a problem.

Organic Chemistry? Unavailable. Biology? Unavailable. Ecology? Yup… unavailable. As a last resort, the advisor offers Gortat a chance for some real world experience: a month shadowing a service professional. Because the last guy who did it dropped out.

That’s all the information available. Apart from a name: Mr Shephard. Despite this, Gortat accepts, still eager to learn. And so on his first day, he’s dressed up as if he’s the President attending their inauguration.

However, Gortat’s destination isn’t as beautiful as the White House. Unless you’re into dilapidated buildings and tales of wasted lives in needle format littering the ground.

And the professional isn’t some smarmy doctor. Turning up in a classic American muscle with uninviting objects abundantly decorating the interior, Max Shephard invites Gortat in for his “education”. There’s no textbooks. No worksheets either. There’s only one rule, and it ain’t a typical one:

            Max
…no matter what happens
you will not puke in this car.

This may sound easy enough to obey until Max’s profession is revealed…demon hunter. Not quite what our Ivy League kid was expecting. In addition, it transpires that the supposed dropout dropped out of life…unwillingly. Oh, and for his first day on the job, he’s got to complete a practical helping Max eradicate the beast responsible for failing the previous student. Turns out “real world experience” means “other world experience” in this case.

Will Gortat pass his practical? Will he break the one rule? Will he even survive? Only one thing’s assured: direct this one well, and judges at film festivals will be giving you full marks!

Budget: Okay, there’s a bit of FX involved in here. But nothing a skilled director can’t – and won’t want to – tackle!

About the writer: James loves to write comedy and action along with the occasional horror short. You can reach him at jbarron021 (a) gmail.

Read Course Listing Unavailable (14 pages in pdf format)

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This screenplay may not be used or reproduced for any purpose including educational purposes without the expressed written permission of the author.

About the reviewer: Hamish Porter is a writer who, if he was granted one wish, would ask for the skill of being able to write dialogue like Tarantino. Or maybe the ability to teleport. Nah, that’s nothing compared to the former. A lover of philosophy, he’s working on several shorts and a sporting comedy that can only be described as “quintessentially British”. If you want to contact him, he can be emailed: hamishdonaldp (a) gmail. If you’d like to contact him and be subjected to incoherent ramblings, follow him on Twitter @HamishP95.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Just a Load of Baloney by Kirsten James (short script review – available for production) - post author Dena McKinnon

Just a Load of Baloney (8 page dramedy) by Kirsten James

When a student saves another from a bully they end up having to face their own fears and stereotypes of each other.

Synopsis.
The story starts with Toby taking a beating from the school bully, Jared. Walking by, Hassan, another student, steps in trying to help but gets punched by Jared. Hassan and Jared sit in principal’s office and after some explaining, Principal Taylor, who really enjoys bologna sandwiches sums it up: Jared the bully beat up Toby because of his sexuality and Hassan stepped in to help, and got punched by accident. Once excused, Toby thanks Hassan. But when he caringly checks Hassan’s black eye, Hassan takes it as a homophobic advance and reacts harshly. Later in the locker room, Hassan is attacked over his religion. As students harass Hassan for being a Muslim, Toby watches without helping. Hassan later verbally attacks Toby calling him a faggot. Students watch as the tension between Toby and Hassan escalates, Hassan upset that Toby didn’t step in to help. It’s like deja vu. Principal Taylor, indulging in another bologna sandwich, leaves telling the boys to work it out. This time though, however, they really do. Toby admits he didn’t help because Hassan had gotten all homophobic on him and Hassan admits that he doesn’t have anything against gays, he even has a gay cousin who lives with him after being kicked out. The two agree to be distant until later when they will hang out and become friends. Laughs come at the end when Toby asks Hassan if his cousin is cute, and the boys leave a note for Principal Taylor, warning him he shouldn’t eat so much bologna.

What I love about this story.
I LOVE that so many prejudices are brought forth. We really are like this as people and we shouldn’t be. Very heartfelt, this story and I think it would be superb festival material.

Why I think this story should be produced.
There is not enough material out there to shed light on such a touchy but relevant subject. This one deserves making. It is film-worthy and one that would hit home and touch many hearts. STRONG subject but light-hearted.

Budget: Low
Characters: 4 mains and some extras
Locations: 1-A school… could be done easily I think

About the Writer: Kirsten James is an aspiring screenwriter in her mid 40’s, originally from NZ, living in the USA. She started writing short stories 5 years ago, and after a year learned that she was more geared to writing scripts. Kirsten has a degree in psychology and finds this a great asset to her writing. Kirsten has 1 short in production.

Read Just a Load of Baloney (8 pages in pdf format)

This screenplay may not be used or reproduced for any purpose including educational purposes without the expressed written permission of the author.

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About the reviewer: Dena McKinnon is an optioned and produced screenwriter who also writes on assignment. Her IMDb credits. She can be reached at: girlbytheshore (a) hotmail.

Monday, March 25, 2019

This Long Vigil by Rhett Bruno- Short Script Review (Available for Production!) - post author Steven Clark

This Long Vigil (27 pages in pdf format) by Rhett Bruno

The lone spaceman aboard an interstellar Ark and his only companion, the ship-wide artificial intelligence, count the hours until his impending and unending hibernation.

Does every Sci-Fi story need to have over the top heroes saving the universe, or aliens running amok across a war-torn Earth? We don’t think so.

And neither will you after reading This Long Vigil.

The year is 2334. The Earth? It’s long gone.

And for Orion, life aboard the Hermes – a massive transport vessel containing thousands of fellow humans in suspended animation – is downright drab.

As the ship’s monitor, and the only fully conscious human, Orion is tasked with keeping an eye on the ship’s inhabitants: keeping up with a myriad of maintenance routines.

His only company is the Hermes’ super computer, DAN, who (like 2001’s HAL) is wired throughout the vessel. Dan keeps Orion occupied with conversation – and the occasional witty riddle to keep his mind sharp… even on the boring days.

The Hermes zips through space in search of a new planet to call home – but a storm is brewing inside.

Orion is about to turn fifty. Back on Earth, that would be cause for celebration, but not here. And not now. According to Dan, Orion must choose his replacement soon – and join the rest of the occupants in eternal “sleep.”

Facing that reality, Orion decides existence on life support is not for him.

            ORION
I believe that people should be
born in fluid, not die in it.

And so a plan is set into motion. With the light of a distant sun shining through his portal, Orion overrides Dan and grabs a space suit. With only fifteen minutes of oxygen left, what could faithful Orion be up to?

Perhaps we’ll find the answer to that in a riddle.

Written in a prose-like fashion, Rhett Bruno’s This Long Vigil contains the best elements of sci-fi and drama, complete with a satisfying finish that is bound to make some noise at Festivals…

Unlike the eternal silence of Space.

Budget: Mid-range. Granted, this one will need some FX. Though judicious editing may make that easier than you think!

About the Nebula nominated writer, Rhett Bruno: Rhett Bruno has been writing since before he can remember, scribbling down what he thought were epic stories when he was young to show to his friends and family. He currently works at an architecture firm, but that hasn’t stopped him from recording the tales bouncing around inside of his head. Rhett is the author of The Circuit Series and Titanborn and the novella This Long Vigil upon which his screenplay is based. He can be reached at rcbruno44(a)outlook.com or you can visit his information chocked website at RhettBruno.com, or Twitter @rcbruno44.  

Read This Long Vigil (27 page screenplay in PDF format).

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This screenplay may not be used or reproduced for any purpose including educational purposes without the expressed written permission of the author.

About the Reviewer: Based in upstate, NY, Steven Clark is the writer of over 30 short scripts, several of which are under option, in pre-production, or have already been made into films. On A Clear Night, a family Christmas feature aimed at a Hallmark Channel-type audience, is currently in the works. Steven can be reached at Steamroller138 (a) gmail. Check out his website BadRepScript.weebly.com and his other screenplays.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Hair by James Barron – Short Script Review (Available for Production!) - post author Zach Zupke

Hair 18 pages in PDF format by James Barron

A family man struggling to keep his life from falling apart becomes obsessed with impending baldness.

Have you ever had one of those days? The job is stabbing you in the eyeballs, your child wants to stab you in the eyeballs and your spouse, who is so severely/constantly let down by you, can barely look you in the, um, eyeballs? These types of days have turned into years for salesman Ted Donovan.

But meaningless career and a challenging home life are nothing compared to his REAL problem: male pattern baldness.

James Barron’s “Hair” is a witty romp through a day in a suburban man’s life; a life beginning to fall apart – and fall out.

The story starts with confirmation from his physician – Ted’s hair or, unhair, doctor.

            DR. GREEN
Mr. Donovan, have you been under
any undue stress lately? At work
perhaps?

            TED
Yeah, a bit. There’s been some
cutbacks. And I have a new boss.
And my wife’s pushing me for this
promotion when I’m barely hanging
on as is. Plus my daughter got
suspended recently. And I’ve been
feeling this shortness of breath.
Kind of like I’m hyperventilating.

            DR. GREEN
Uh-huh…

            TED
Is there anything you can prescribe
for that?

            DR. GREEN
For which part?

            TED
All of it.

            DR. GREEN
I really only specialize with hair.

            TED
Oh. Right.

The problems mount at work, where Ted used to be an Amway selling “machine.” But now he’s locked in cold-call hell, unable to engage potential customers for more than greetings followed by dismal dial tones.

His much-younger boss – who happens to be his old boss’s son – doesn’t help matters, reminding Ted of better day’s gone by.

            TED
It’s been a little slow this month.

            NEAL
No worries. What’d my old man call you?
The machine. I remember you were a legend.
    (quickly)
Still are. I know I can count on
You, Teddy. Or should I say machine?

            TED
Ted is fine.

Ted is not fine. In fact, this is a decisive turning point in his life. And he literally meets it head-on in the form of a nearly-fatal accident behind the wheel as he checks his hair in the mirror. Knocked unconscious, he dreams of his boss Neal, who tells him “you must make a statement…. a statement shall set you free.”

This free advice amounts to Ted’s moment of clarity, leading him to do the unthinkable. And so his journey to happiness begins anew, with wife and daughter in tow. And Amway and the old Ted in his rear-view mirror – for good.

Ted’s big adventure is a warm, charming “Office Space” meets “Horrible Bosses” meets Paul Giamatti. It’s an extremely low-budget film requiring just a few locations and handful of actors – one of which may need to be willing to shave a little off his ego to make the film a “growing” success.

Budget: Just a few locations and a handful of actors. We’re happy to say that’s all you need.

About the writer: James loves to write comedy and action along with the occasional horror short. You can reach him at jbarron021 (a) gmail.

Read Hair (19 pages in pdf format)

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This screenplay may not be used or reproduced for any purpose including educational purposes without the expressed written permission of the author.

About the reviewer: Zack Zupke is a writer in Los Angeles. Zack was a latch-key kid whose best friend was a 19-inch color television. His early education (1st grade on) included watching countless hours of shows like “M*A*S*H,” “Star Trek” and “The Odd Couple” and movies like “The Godfather,” “Rocky” and “Annie Hall.” Flash forward to present day and his short “The Confession” was recently produced by Trident Technical College in Charleston, SC. He’s currently working on a futuristic hitman thriller with a partner and refining a dramedy pilot perfect for the likes of FX. You can reach Zack at zzupke (a) yahoo.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Badman by John Staats – Produced - post author Don

Badman (5 page in pdf format ) by John Staats (JEStaats)

The J-Gang has robbed the bank again. Now it’s the Bad men vs. Badman.

(click the image to take you to the full version)

Read the rest at HyperEpics.com


About the writer: As a fly-fishing fanatic and skier living in the Arizona desert, John Staats has plenty of time for writing. After focusing on features and shorts for the screen, John has now ventured into writing for the illustrated page with hopes of eventually writing a full-feature graphic novel. His feature Impasse has also been published as an e-book on Amazon. John can be contacted at jestaats(a)hotmail.

About Hyper Epics: Home of the 3 page sagas, Hyper Epics is a bold anthology series that offers diverse and exciting comic book stories on its website – www.hyperepics.com – and in print form. Each original story is packed with stunning artwork, memorable characters, and captivating stories enhanced with dazzling soundtracks. It is quickly becoming a go-to destination for readers worldwide.

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